Friday, 14 February 2014

Gibson backs SNP budget

Local SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson says the Scottish Government budget, passed last Wednesday (February 5), will “boost Scotland’s economy, help with the cost of living and deliver vital action to mitigate Westminster’s disastrous Bedroom Tax”.

In addition to the headline-grabbing move that will see millions-of-pounds made available to protect some of the country’s most vulnerable people who have seen their Housing Benefit slashed as a result of the Westminster-imposed Bedroom Tax, Mr Gibson said the SNP Government is “Delivering free school meals, extending childcare and protecting the Council Tax freeze, which will save hundreds of pounds for households across Scotland.”

Included in the SNP Government’s budget are plans to continue the small business bonus, protect free education, extend free school meals to every pupil in Primary 1 to Primary 3, and expand childcare provision to 600 hours for 3 and 4 year-olds and for vulnerable 2 year-olds. In addition, investment in infrastructure projects is to be supported to the tune of £8 billion over the next two years, which it is expected will create in the region of 50,000 full-time-equivalent jobs.

Kenneth Gibson, whose Cunninghame North constituency includes Ardrossan and Saltcoats, said, “This is vital action to help people during difficult times and will be warmly welcomed by people across Scotland. What is also particularly welcome is that even more action is being taken to help people affected by Westminster’s Bedroom Tax.

“The money has been put in place to mitigate the Bedroom Tax and the only thing standing in the way of immediate action is Westminster. Of course, far better than attempting to mitigate the deeply unfair Bedroom Tax would simply be to abolish it altogether. Only a ‘YES’ vote in September will give the Scottish Parliament the power to abolish the Bedroom Tax, and will ensure that Scotland’s welfare system reflects the priorities of people in Scotland, rather than the Westminster Treasury.”

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